Beaconsfield High School

Beaconsfield High School

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Science

All students study Science until the end of Year 11, in line with the National Curriculum, and they are encouraged to continue at least one Science subject at A-Level.

There is now a real shift in Science education to teach Years 7 to 11 as a 5-year course culminating in the new style Science GCSEs. We are embracing this at Beaconsfield High School and are developing Year 7 and 8 Schemes of Work which provide a strong foundation to success in the three Science subjects at GCSE and to the A-Level courses in Sixth Form.

Years 7 and 8

The groundwork for success at GCSE is established as our students explore an integrated Science course in Years 7 and 8. The course is based on key concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics which are essential to a deeper understanding of Science. Emphasis is placed on practical work and experimental skills, while familiarising pupils with safe working practices within a laboratory environment.

One core focus for the department is to foster enthusiasm and curiosity in our students from day one, to enable them to become the young scientists of the future at Beaconsfield High and beyond.

Years 9 and 10

Students are studying for the new OCR Gateway (9-1) Biology (J247), Chemistry (J248) and Physics (J249) GCSEs. Each course contains several units as well as a series of practical activities called PAGs. With the removal of any Controlled Assessment in the new GCSEs – the PAG activities provide the essential experience of experiments and techniques which are now assessed in the examinations.

The new style GCSEs are assessed by two terminal examinations at the end of Year 11. Each examination will have specific units that it assesses, along with the practical element of the course. The second of the two examinations will also contain a synoptic focus, which can include any topic from the entire GCSE and assumes prior knowledge of each unit of the course.

Students have been given access to Kerboodle, an online resource, which contains a digital copy of the textbooks for the Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSE as well as a range of other assessment resources. A Biology, Chemistry and Physics workbook is also issued to each student to provide them with additional practice and preparation for their examinations and consolidate what we are learning at each stage of the course.

Year 11

AQA GCSE: The majority of students in Year 11 are working towards the AQA GCSEs in Physics (4403), Chemistry (4402) and Biology (4401). The courses consist of three terminal examinations and an ISA controlled assessment.

Each pupil has been given a revision guide for the course and access to kerboodle, an online resource, which contains a digital copy of each of the GCSE course textbooks as well as additional resources to prepare pupils for their examinations.

Cambridge iGCSE: One set of pupils in Year 11 are working towards Cambridge iGCSEs in Biology (0610), Chemistry (0620) and Physics (0625). The iGCSE courses contain no practical controlled assessments, but the delivery of the course contains the development of practical skills to prepare pupils for the practical written paper which forms part of the final exam.

The assessment of the iGCSE courses is in the form of three examinations:

  • - Paper 1 - a multiple choice examination;
  • - Paper 2 - a written examination on the extended curriculum and;
  • - Paper 3 - another written examination consisting of short-answer and structured questions, this paper also contains the questions related to experimental tasks.